The rise of national research assessments – and the tools and data that make them work
By Michiel Schotten and M’hamed el Aisati | Posted on 17 December 2014
National assessments of a country’s research performance are gaining traction worldwide, be it on the level of institutions, research units or individual researchers. This is mainly due to the immediate benefits that can be gained from national assessment exercises: not only do they aim to boost the country’s research performance; they provide public accountability to taxpayers for the nation’s research spending.
A national assessment can showcase the direct benefits of funded research to society by showing that it has stimulated the economy, improved healthcare and guided policy decisions. And the outcomes may be used by government funding agencies in deciding how to distribute the research funding pie among the different institutions and research projects. This way, research excellence can be fostered by funding the best and most impactful research, providing the "best bang for the buck" from the taxpayers' perspective. …